Motorola Moto X (1st Gen) Forum

Tips Motorola & Google Bloatware: What to disable?

I guess the Motorola bloatware is better than the T-Mobile bloatware... at least I can go into App Info and "Disable" most of it. I'm not going to root this phone for a while, but Disable seems to be all I need. Besides not running and wasting CPU cycles, Disabling will prevent the apps (especially the Google/Motorola product apps) from hogging valuable memory on my 16GB Moto X.

Here are the System apps that I think the system could do without, though a lot of them I'll keep. I'll update the list (if there's interest) as I kill things off, or if I learn that it shouldn't be deleted. (Or, of course, if I brick my phone disabling one!) Anyone have experience with doing a mass-disable?

* Motorola Alert - Disabled, because my family is already using Life360 to spy on each other.
* Motorola Migrate - how many times does it think I need to use this?
* Assist (7/28/14) - Popped up today to help me with my life. But I can mute my phone in a meeting, use voice control while driving, and sleep through midnight texts just fine on my own. This also uninstalled the 7.69MB from its latest update.
* Connect (7/29) - Sending SMS from my browser isn't as useful as I expected. 7.5MB update removed.
* Google Play Games (10/2014)
* Google Play Movies & TV (10/2014)
* Google Play Newsstand (10/2014 - had 5MB of data and I've never opened it!)
* HP Print Service Plugin (10/2014)
* Help (10/2014)
* TalkBack (10/2014, note it may have a different name after latest update)
* Hangouts (10/2014, was using 40MB+ even though I never open it)
* Translate (10/2014, now called "Google Translate")
* Gallery (11/2014, now called "Motorola Gallery". I use QuickPic:

Maybe could disable, but would need to research first
* Audio Effects
* Active Display, Active Display System Process (sounds like it might break something)
* Android Live Wallpapers
* Basic Daydreams
* Bubbles
* Calendar
* Chrome
* Clock (would this break things?)
* Cloud Print
* D2DCallHandler
* Device Management
* Drive (aka Google Drive)
* Email (the non-Gmail client)
* Face Unlock
* Gmail
* Google Keyboard
* Google One Time Init (if it's one time, why do I still need it?)
* Google Partner Setup
* Google Play Books
* Google Play Music
* Google Play Store
* Google Search (40Mb for a search app?)
* Google+
* Magic Smoke Wallpapers (where I come from, if your device emits Magic Smoke, it's a Bad Thing!)
* Maps
* Motomaker
* Motorola Boot Services (sounds dangerous)
* Motorola Checkin
* Motorola Contextual Serices
* Motorola DriveActivator
* Motorola ID
* Motorola Modality Services
* Motorola Skip(tm) Setup
* Motorola One Time Init (again, one time?)
* Motorola Sensor Services (probably need it)
* Motorola Spotlight Player (silly, but I'm keeping it for now)
* Music Visualization Wallpapers
* OMA Client Provisioning
* Phase Beam
* Photo Screensavers
* Picasa Uploader
* Preset
* Print Spooler
* Quickoffice
* Setup and Setup Wizard
* Street View
* Tags
* Touchless Control
* YouTube

Can't disable (option to disable is greyed out)
* Demo mode
* Emergency Alerts
* Messaging
* MotoCare and MotoCareInt
* Motorola Assist Framework
* Motorola Notification
* Motorola Services and Motorola Services Main
* Motorola Slpc System
* MotorolaOTA
* NativeDropBoxAgent
* Rescue Add-On: Motorola
* Wireless Display, Wireless Display Service, Wireless Display Widget

A lot of the*, com.motorola.*, and com.qualcomm.* looks useless, but I'd be worried about disabling them (and of course some can't be disabled).


#1 RobertB-DC, Jul 24, 2014 Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
Just to make something clear, because of the way you worded your post, disabling programs shouldn't really free up any of your 16GB of storage. All it will do is keep the program from running and possibly sitting in the 2GB of RAM in the Moto X. You're unlikely to see much difference from disabling those programs.
#2 mogelijk, Jul 25, 2014
Right, it won't get rid of the system memory taken up by the original version. But when there's an update, Android downloads the app all over again, wasting space in the non-system memory. So if I uninstall the updates to the Google Play Movies & TV "system app", I get that storage back. And if I Disable it, the Play store won't nag me to update it again. (Do I have that right? Any changes since whenever I last played with a rooted phone, way too long ago?)
#3 RobertB-DC, Jul 25, 2014
The "Assist" app popped up and offered to run my life. No thanks, I already have a mommy. ;) Deleting it freed up the 7.5+ MB taken up by its update, too.

The cutesy "Motorola Spotlight" would be an obvious candidate for the discard pile, but I'm getting totally sucked in by the stories. It's like being in an animated movie, except that you can look around. (I wonder what happens if you wear headphones? Does the sound change direction? Hmmm...) I'm actually looking forward to Thursday, when they release the next episode.

(Update 7/29, not worth its own post) I dumped the "Connect" app, which communicates with my Chrome browser and lets me send and receive SMS on my PC. It only works if the phone is powered on, and it uses Chrome's new, annoying "Notifications" that I would turn off if it didn't require jumping through so many hoops. And it's not useful - if I've got my phone next to me, I really don't need to use my computer as a remote keyboard.
#4 RobertB-DC, Jul 28, 2014
I got rid of the cute "Motorola Spotlight" a while back, because it had racked up hundreds of megs of data for the two or three movies they released. The promised "Next Thursday" never arrived.

I'm bumping up against the end of my memory, and I'll need to whittle down the hundreds of songs I've got stored in offline storage by Google Play Music. But until I get a chance to do that, I'm going to zap a few more unused "system" apps that I don't use. These made the mistake of asking me to update them... if they'd kept their heads down, they wouldn't have gotten them cut off!

* Google Play Games
* Google Play Movies & TV
* Google Play Newsstand (had 5MB of data and I've never opened it!)
* HP Print Service Plugin

Seeing that data with Google Play Newsstand got me to looking. Turns out the data stays around when you Disable an app - makes sense if you plan to enable it again in the future. So I went through and deleted all the orphaned data.

That led me to update my list with some other apps I've disabled with no problems, when they came up for upgrade a while back.

* Help - I guess I've figured out how to help myownself.
* TalkBack - I think this one came up because it wanted to upgrade and change its name, so it may show up with a different name on other phones.
#5 RobertB-DC, Oct 8, 2014
I have found the Connect feature fairly useful. I'm in front of a computer all day at work and being able to send/receive texts from it instead of my phone saves time and battery life of the phone.

Recently I forgot to grab my phone on the way out the door to work. With Connect I could still send/receive texts all day plus it has a caller ID feature when you receive phone calls so I could return calls from work if needed as well. It saved me from a day of separation anxiety or an hour round trip home and back to get my phone...
#6 svensett, Oct 9, 2014
Finally dumped Hangouts, saving 14MB of update. And when I go into the App Info, it says the total usage is 43MB - 41MB of which is the app. I'm not sure that adds up, but it's space I could use. When I disable it, the app space drops back down to 15MB.

I use Handcent (8MB, but 29MB + 1MB data in App Info), because I don't like the way Hangouts tries to lure me into "texting" through Google. (Please, let me have one Google-free zone in my life!)
#7 RobertB-DC, Oct 17, 2014
The latest victim is Translate, which wanted to update itself to "Google Translate". Haven't had any problems. I'm not sure what purpose the app served in normal usage. The Google Keyboard app doesn't require it to switch keyboard languages.
#8 RobertB-DC, Oct 27, 2014

Translate is awesome when you want to hold a conversation with somebody when neither of you share a common language. I used it in Europe last month when I was shortchanged in a shop. I also used it to write a personal thank you note for our Bulgarian steward who cleaned our room for a week. She spoke English well, but loved the note.
#9 doogald, Oct 28, 2014
The Motorola Gallery app (called just "Gallery" in the original app) popped its head up, asking me to download a whopping 35.64MB update (originally just 10.59MB) so that it could give me that terrible "Lollipop Material Design" look. No thanks - maybe I'd download 35MB if it would guarantee that I'd never have to see that blocky, oversaturated mess again.

Disabling it prevented the 35MB from the update, and also freed up another 35MB in cache. Sweet.
#10 RobertB-DC, Nov 25, 2014